Emerson's Retirement Could Force Taxpayers to Pay For Special Election

5 years 9 months 2 weeks ago Friday, December 07 2012 Dec 7, 2012 Friday, December 07, 2012 4:03:00 PM CST December 07, 2012 in News
By: Danny Spewak
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Jo Ann Emerson's decision to retire Monday from the U.S. House of Representatives means Missouri's 8th District will need to hold a special election to fill her vacant seat.

The timing of her decision could cost Missourians hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars.

Emerson (R-Mo), who won re-election a month ago but now plans to retire in February, could leave counties in the 8th District scrambling if Gov. Jay Nixon chooses not to put the election on the April 2013 ballot. If he schedules the election for another date, each county would need to hold separate elections with only one ballot issue and pay for the costs of ballot printing, election judges, polling locations, absentee ballots and other expenses.

Emerson's 8th congressional district in Missouri includes 27 counties in the southeast portion of the state, and several county clerks offered rough estimates Friday for the cost of a separate special election. The state of Missouri reimburses each county for the elections, but the money ultimately falls on taxpayers across the state, no matter the congressional district. In larger counties such as Phelps and Cape Girardeau, the total cost could approach six figures combined. Phelps County Clerk Carol Bennett estimated a cost of $65,000 to $75,000 for a non-April special election, and Joey Keys in Cape Giradeau County estimated a similar total ranging from $60,000 to $65,000. 

In Dent County, which consists of about 15,000 people, Angie Curley estimated a special election could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $12,000. 

The constitution grants Gov. Nixon the power to schedule a special election. Press Secretary Scott Holste said the governor has no timetable on that decision, and he said a "number of things" factor into whether to hold an election in April or at another time. He would not specifically comment on whether Gov. Nixon would consider the cost of county elections in his decision. 

KOMU 8 News contacted Jo Ann Emerson's office in Washington, D.C., and the office referred us to the email of a media contact. Jeffrey Connor declined to comment on possible costs of a special election for Emerson's seat.

"The special election will be set by the Governor of Missouri," Connor said in the email.

Emerson announced she will accept a position as president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. According to OpenSecrets.org, NRECA is the largest contributing organization to Emerson's campaign fund since she joined Congress in 1996.

Emerson, who turned 62 in September, is now also eligible to collect a full and immediate pension under the Federal Employees' Retirement System. Federal employees of at least 62 years of age may collect the pension if they have five years of service. At age 50, employees become eligible for full and immediate pension with 20 years of service. 

Connor said Emerson's pension was not a factor in her decision to retire. 

Several county clerks gave KOMU 8 News rough estimates for special election costs in the 8th-district congressional race. If Gov. Nixon schedules that election on the April 2013 ballot, the figures will drop significantly. Some clerks were either out of the office on Friday or not comfortable giving figures yet, but here's a list compiling estimates from several county clerks. The list varies significantly depending on county population.

Cape Girardeau County: $60,000 to $65,000

Carter County: $10,000

Dent County: $10,00 to $12,000

New Madrid County: $27,000 to $30,000

Oregon County: $7,000

Perry County: $20,000

Phelps County: $65,000 to $75,000

Reynolds County: $15,000

Washington County: $10,000 to $15,000

Wayne County: $30,000

Wright County: $15,000

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - One person died and another was hurt in a one-vehicle crash Sunday morning. Police said Perri A.... More >>
1 hour ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 9:57:00 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri basketball forward Mitchell Smith was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with a DWI. Smith was... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 8:45:00 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in Sports
CLAYTON (AP) — A St. Louis man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for a 2012 police chase... More >>
3 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 8:27:14 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – About one in 10 children are subject to sexual abuse, according to a local expert on the subject.... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 11:18:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A water main break in MU's Hearnes Center early Saturday morning caused at least $100,000 worth of damage,... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 7:17:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department responded to shots fired at a McDonald's located at 303 S. Business 54 early... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a past sexual assault,... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 5:16:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - The Callaway County Sheriff's Office arrested five people Friday morning during a narcotics search at a residence in... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 4:16:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
FESTUS (AP) — A man and his adult son were killed when their small plane crashed near... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 8:20:00 AM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU partnered with two local groups to host a Chinese Moon Festival Saturday night at Twin Lake Recreational... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 8:02:00 AM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD — President Trump held a campaign-style rally in Springfield Friday. Trump spoke in front of an at-capacity crowd... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 10:15:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 46-year-old woman who set a fire that resulted in the deaths of two Kansas City... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 6:22:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Emissions near a troubled St. Louis County landfill once posed health concerns for workers and nearby... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 5:02:52 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
JOPLIN (AP) — Missouri Southern State University has abandoned plans for a dental school that would've operated in partnership with... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 4:51:59 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some St. Louis police officers are still struggling with injuries more than a year after protesters... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 4:44:27 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police said a fifth arrest has been made in connection with an alleged homicide on Sylvan Lane... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police arrested a man early Friday after reportedly finding him outside an apartment complex, looking into a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 3:27:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruled Friday to allow the Clean Missouri Initiative to stay... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 68°
12pm 73°
1pm 75°
2pm 77°
3pm 78°